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Dosing Technique For Silvia - (short) - Back
Link to longer version.
Options for dosing the basket are:
If you are using firm tamping you must do it right, the tamped coffee puck must fit perfectly to the screen above, meaning, the top of the puck must be even to provide uniform pressure on the puck, before and after the soaking of the coffee.
for firm tamping: time consuming, high demand for high precision and accuracy,
the extraction is somewhat less efficient in using the total space for the same
amount of coffee with soft tamping.
for firm tamping: somewhat cleaner, improves fine-motor coordination.
preference and recommendation is dosing by weight with a very light soft tamp:
it is less massy and more simple to achieve good results.
your set-up is unknown, start with dosing by volume.
If you do it right, after the extraction you should have a good imprint
of the screen over the top of the coffee puck. (See picture below)
by volume will always give you the right default amount. Then adjust the grind
to control and adjust the extraction time.
you correctly have the volume amount and grind level set, assuming you are going
to use the same batch of beans, you can convert the volume to weight and repeat
dosing by weight.
When dosing by volume. Let the grind fall to the basket, do not push or press it in. If you feel you have too many large clumps in the coffee grind, you can tap down the portafilter on a hard surface with a very small consistent tap.
The imprint will look slightly different with different coffee.
What should you look for other than color and time.
If you still are having problems and you want to give up, then use the larger basket Rancilio 18+ grams basket (40-100-103). but you will have to use more coffee, about at least 18 grams and more.
For a discussion of the perfect Italian espresso by an industry trade group, see the Instituto Nationale Espresso Italiano (PDF) (or PDF here Instituto Nationale Espresso Italiano).
If you still having problems, please check that you don't have too dense clumps.